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| February 17, 2019

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CNN

A meteorite may have struck western Cuba, National Weather Service says

February 2, 2019 |

The explosion reported in Viñales, Cuba, is not confirmed to be from a meteorite, but the government is investigating.
CNN.com – RSS Channel – Regions – Americas

Facebook removes bogus accounts it says had ties to state-sponsored Russian news service

January 18, 2019 |

Facebook Inc. said it disrupted two campaigns run by fake accounts with links to Russia and its Sputnik news service as it continues to grapple with misinformation on its platform.

Facebook removed 289 pages and 75 accounts it says were engaged in “inauthentic behavior” and targeted Facebook members…


L.A. Times – Business

South Africa Wants to Mandate Registration of Crypto Service Providers

January 17, 2019 |

South Africa Wants to Mandate Registration of Crypto Service Providers

A regulatory working group in South Africa, which includes the country’s central bank, has released a consultation paper on crypto assets this week. According to the document, all exchanges, wallet providers, Bitcoin ATMs and payment processors will have to register with the government in 2019. 

Also Read: Bitpay Reports Processing Over $ 1 Billion Transactions in 2018

Consultation Paper on Crypto Assets

South Africa’s Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC), Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA), National Treasury (NT), the South African Revenue Service (SARS), and the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) jointly released on Wednesday their consultation paper on crypto assets. The group was formed to review the state of cryptocurrency in the country under the Intergovernmental Fintech Working Group (IFWG) at the start of 2018.

South Africa Wants to Mandate Registration of Crypto Service Providers

The paper includes background on the subject and provides the scope of the activities that have been assessed. It highlights the benefits and risks, as defined by the regulators, reviews the approaches taken by other jurisdictions, and presents recommendations for dealing with crypto assets from a local perspective. The South African public and impacted parties have been asked to provide comments on the document by Feb. 15, 2019, and the regulators promise that the input will help determine the way in which crypto assets will be regulated.

Crypto Service Providers Will Have to Register

The group recommends that crypto assets remain without legal tender status and not recognized as electronic money, but they won’t be banned for now. It proposes a regulatory framework to be developed in phases, starting with a registration process for crypto asset service providers. This could eventually lead to formal authorization as a licensed operator in South Africa. Registration will be required for all cryptocurrency trading platforms, vending machines (Bitcoin ATMs), wallet providers, custodial services and payment service providers.

South Africa Wants to Mandate Registration of Crypto Service Providers

The paper also recommends that crypto asset service providers be required to comply with AML/CFT regulations under South Africa’s Financial Intelligence Centre Act. This means that the companies will have to conduct ongoing monitoring of their clients, keep records of their activities and file reports on suspicious and unusual transactions, including all cash transactions of 25,000 South African rand (around $ 1,900) and above. Details about the registration process will be published later and it is expected to be implemented in the first quarter of 2019.

Is this development good for cryptocurrency users in South Africa? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi’s Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

The post South Africa Wants to Mandate Registration of Crypto Service Providers appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Amazon’s IMDb Launches Free Streaming-Video Service

January 12, 2019 |

Amazon.com launched its first advertising-supported streaming-video channel, the e-commerce giant’s latest effort to grab a larger share of the ad market.
WSJ.com: What’s News Europe

Israeli Exchange to Launch Crypto Payments API Service for Local Businesses

December 30, 2018 |

Israeli Exchange to Launch Crypto Payments API Service for Local Businesses

There is a new option on the way for Israeli companies that wish to accept orders from cryptocurrency users while they keep managing their books in fiat. A local bitcoin exchange, Bits of Gold, is launching an API service for regulated crypto payments.

Also Read: Billions Living Under Authoritarian Regimes Need Bitcoin Says Human Rights Activist

New Tools for Israeli Businesses

Israeli Exchange to Launch Crypto Payments API Service for Local BusinessesTel Aviv-based cryptocurrency exchange Bits of Gold has developed an application program interface (API) service meant to enable companies to accept payments in crypto and receive the value in Israeli shekels or U.S. dollars. The exchange has also developed a complimentary service that allows businesses to get paid in shekels and receive the value in cryptocurrency.

The trading venue expressed hope that the new service will allow more companies to enter the field and thus expand the payment options for Israeli crypto users. The exchange also plans to soon launch cash registers that will enable retailers to accept crypto payments as well. And the company will also begin offering a Bitcoin clearing service for businesses in the second quarter of 2019, Bits of Gold CEO Youval Rouach told the local Globes  newspaper.

“Crypto transfers are not a complicated matter but the regulatory demands, which include identifying the client, make it complicated,” explained Bits of Gold VP Tomer Niv. “Our service allows to use Bitcoin and comply with the rules of the regulator, without developing a vast payments system for each business.”

The Crypto Situation in Israel in 2018

Israeli Exchange to Launch Crypto Payments API Service for Local BusinessesWhile the number of individual investors who entered the market declined, the number of companies that use Bits of Gold’s services remained quite stable in 2018, according to its CEO. And the exchange also continued to grow during the year, hiring more software developers and costumer service personnel, reaching a total staff of 21 people. However, the company also gave up on plans for buying another bitcoin ATM as well as offering clients an option to trade on a combined basket of top cryptocurrencies.

The CEO of the Israeli exchange thinks that the local securities and anti-money laundering authorities are doing a good job with regards to developing rules for the field, even making Israel an international leader in terms of crypto regulation. However, he notes that as long as the Bank of Israel doesn’t make a clear stand on the matter, commercial banks will continue to make it hard on the industry.

A recent report revealed that only 5 percent of the people in Israel invested in or used digital coins in 2018. Moreover, a total of 44 percent of Israelis say they either don’t know what Bitcoin is or just don’t understand the concept. In contrast, 42 percent of the people have reported using the direct money transfer apps that the big banks in Israel have been pushing hard over the last year in an attempt to stay relevant in the digital age.

Is the crypto industry in Israel going to recover in 2019? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi’s Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

The post Israeli Exchange to Launch Crypto Payments API Service for Local Businesses appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Japanese Regulator Publishes Proposed Rules for Crypto Service Providers

December 29, 2018 |

Japanese Regulator Publishes Proposed Rules for Cryptocurrency Service Providers

Japan’s top financial regulator has published the final report outlining proposed rules for cryptocurrency service providers to follow. The rules address areas such as hacking incidents, coin listings, financial and price disclosures, margin trading, and crypto custodial services.

Also read: Indian Supreme Court Moves Crypto Hearing, Community Calls for Positive Regulations

Final Report of Proposed Rules

Japanese Regulator Publishes Proposed Rules for Cryptocurrency Service ProvidersJapan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) has published the final report from last week’s study group meeting on crypto exchanges detailing requirements “as a precondition of the proper principle of self-responsibility.” The agency expects crypto service providers to follow these rules either by themselves or under the guidance of a self-regulatory organization (SRO). Currently, only one SRO — the Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association — has been approved by the FSA.

An FSA spokesperson told news.Bitcoin.com on Wednesday:

Based on the discussion of developing systematic approaches towards various issues on crypto-assets … Taking the perspectives indicated by the final report, FSA has been currently conducting comprehensive consideration on the future approaches, including for revising acts.

The requirements cover areas such as risks relating to thefts of customers’ cryptocurrencies when hacking incidents occur, price fluctuations and speculation. The lack of internal control systems amid rapid business expansion of service providers was discussed, along with measures for crypto transaction types such as margin trading that are not covered by existing regulations.

Rules on Crypto Exchange Operations

The report specifies nine areas that need to be addressed relating to the operations of crypto exchanges and service providers. The first proposed rule reads:

Where private keys of customers’ deposited virtual currency are managed online … service providers [are required] to maintain net assets and funds for reimbursement of the same or greater amount. The funds must consist of the same types as the deposited virtual currency.

Secondly, they must “Develop [a] framework to entitle customers to [a] statutory lien that secures their claim to deposited virtual currency.” They must also disclose their financial statements.

Japanese Regulator Publishes Proposed Rules for Cryptocurrency Service ProvidersIn order to ensure proper business operations, crypto service providers need to disclose information relating to trading prices, the report explains. They are also prohibited from advertising, promoting or encouraging speculative trading. Additionally, they must follow the rules set forth by an SRO. The agency noted that registration of non-SRO members that have not established internal rules equivalent to the SRO’s rules can be refused or canceled.

Furthermore, crypto service providers are prohibited “from dealing in virtual currencies that could impede user protection or proper and reliable business operations,” the report reads. The last requirement under this category is for them to notify the FSA “each change of a line of virtual currencies in advance.”

Rules on Margin Trading

Japanese Regulator Publishes Proposed Rules for Cryptocurrency Service ProvidersThe first proposed condition under this category states that a registration requirement for “foreign exchange margin trading (forex trading)” will be imposed on crypto service providers offering margin trading. The same code of conduct “such as the prohibition of unrequested solicitation” will also apply.

Secondly, a limit will be imposed on each cryptocurrency’s leverage ratio “based on [the] actual virtual currency price fluctuations.”

Service providers will also be required to explain the risks specific to cryptocurrencies and set minimum margin amounts. Lastly, crypto credit will follow similar rules as margin trading since they have similar functions and risks, the report details.

Additional Rules

Japanese Regulator Publishes Proposed Rules for Cryptocurrency Service ProvidersThe report also outlines rules for crypto custodial services and “unfair acts” in crypto spot trading. All persons and entities are prohibited “from improper conduct, spreading rumors and price manipulation.”

Cryptocurrency custodial services will be regulated going forward. Specifically, the same regulations that currently apply to crypto exchanges will apply to the custody of customers’ cryptocurrencies. Furthermore, the report notes:

Virtual currency exchange service providers [are] to monitor transactions and prohibit transactions aimed at profiting based on nonpublic information.

What do you think of these proposed rules? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Japanese Regulator Publishes Proposed Rules for Crypto Service Providers appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

The Daily: Coinbase to Pay Users for Learning, Okex Launches Instant Messaging Service

December 20, 2018 |

The Daily: Coinbase to Pay Users for Learning, Okex Launches Instant Messaging Service

In today’s edition of The Daily we feature a number of recent developments by popular cryptocurrency exchanges. These include an educational platform by Coinbase, a communication tool for OTC traders from Okex, an important ticker update by Coinex, and an investment by ZB.com.

Also Read: Atari Partners Decentralized Gaming Company, Tagomi Goes Live

Learn and Earn

The Daily: Coinbase to Pay Users for Learning, Okex Launches Instant Messaging ServiceCoinbase has announced a new initiative meant to incentive people to learn more about cryptocurrencies. The Coinbase Earn educational platform will reward users with tokens for completing various tasks such as watching videos and taking quizzes on crypto-related content.

The service has launched in invite-only mode with just a single asset for now, but Coinbase promises that over time it will add more options. Users who received an invite by email can already go to the ZRX page to earn small amounts of cryptocurrency. Anyone else can view the educational content on the page for free, as well as sign up to a waiting list to be notified as more educational tasks are available.

“We think Coinbase Earn could help open up blockchain access to a new group of users: people who are curious about digital assets, but who’d like to try them out for free just like a normal web or mobile app. By serving that need, we hope to make blockchain more accessible in the process,” the team commented. The exchange also revealed that for the first set of tasks, funding is unsurprisingly coming from the 0x external development pool.

Okex Messenger

The Daily: Coinbase to Pay Users for Learning, Okex Launches Instant Messaging ServiceOkex, the Malta-based cryptocurrency exchange supporting fiat currencies such as Vietnamese Dong and Chinese Yuan, has announced it’s launched an instant messaging service. Developed for its over-the-counter trading (OTC) platform, the new feature allows users to establish direct communications between buyers and sellers.

The instant messaging service allows traders to send and receive messages in real-time with their counter-party on Okex’s website and mobile applications. The apps are available for both the iOS and Android operating systems, and the developers say that by enabling push notifications, traders will be alerted immediately through their mobile devices once they receive any updates.

Coinex Updates BSV Ticker

The Daily: Coinbase to Pay Users for Learning, Okex Launches Instant Messaging ServiceHong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinex has changed its Bitcoin SV ticker from “BCHSV” to “BSV”, announcing that from now on “BCHSV” will no longer represent the Bitcoin SV token on the platform. Founded in December 2017, the company counts mining giant Bitmain among its investors.

With this move, the exchange reaffirms that it expects users to understand that BSV is no longer related to Bitcoin Cash (BCH) in any way following the recent hard fork. Coinex was among the very first exchanges that opened withdrawals for both BCH and BSV following the fork, providing an easy way for holders to split the two cryptocurrencies.

ZB.com Partners Gaming Project

The Daily: Coinbase to Pay Users for Learning, Okex Launches Instant Messaging ServiceHong Kong-headquartered cryptocurrency exchange ZB.com has recently announced an expansion into the European Union with the launch of the Malta-regulated ZBX.com. To make a concerted effort to attract new Western users, the company has announced it is investing into select crypto projects, the first being Clovr.

Founded by a team of executives and developers with experience from King.com, Uber and Y Combinator, Clovr has developed an esports token to tap the market of 3.5 million real-money players engaged with licensed online casinos.

“We believe there is a large upside for projects with access to sizeable daily active user bases,” noted ZB.com co-founder Jimmy Zhao. “User adoption is crucial to the long-term value creation of cryptocurrencies. We think CLOVR could be the most used crypto of 2019 since their tokens can be purchased by an existing large and engaged esports and iGaming online user base.”

Ledger Adopts Crypto.com Pay

The Daily: Coinbase to Pay Users for Learning, Okex Launches Instant Messaging ServiceLedger, the Paris-headquartered hardware wallet manufacturer, has announced the signing of a deal to adopt a new cryptocurrency payment solution, Crypto.com Pay. Once the service is implemented onto Ledger’s online store, customers will have the option to purchase products at checkout by opening the Crypto.com wallet and card app, scanning a QR code, and selecting the desired cryptocurrency to be spent.

Éric Larchevêque, CEO of Ledger, said: “Our customers understand the everyday utility of cryptocurrency, and as a leading cryptocurrency asset hardware wallet provider, it is a natural step for us to provide a cryptocurrency payment option. We support what Crypto.com is doing to lead the industry forward with its vision of cryptocurrency in every wallet. We feel this payment option is just what our customers are seeking.”

What do you think about today’s news tidbits? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi’s Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

The post The Daily: Coinbase to Pay Users for Learning, Okex Launches Instant Messaging Service appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Chinese streaming service Tencent Music climbs in trading after $1.1-billion IPO

December 12, 2018 |

Tencent Music Entertainment Group climbed in its U.S. trading debut Wednesday after pricing its initial public offering at the bottom of a marketed range.

China’s largest music-streaming service, which is backed by Tencent Holdings Ltd., and existing shareholders raised $ 1.1 billion by selling…


L.A. Times – Business

Zillow will buy your home directly. And it just brought the service to Southern California

December 11, 2018 |

Selling your home can be a headache. There’s the real estate agent to find, the open houses to hold, the bids to weigh. And then, at the very end, there’s the wait for something that may not even happen: financing.

A growing number of companies are looking to simplify and speed the process. Zillow,…


L.A. Times – Business

Sentiment Analysis Service Predicoin Launches for Cryptocurrency Traders

December 11, 2018 |

Sentiment Analysis Tool Predicoin Launches for Cryptocurrency Traders

Keeping abreast of cryptocurrencies means frequently browsing and interpreting vast amounts of content from various online sources. As the crypto markets expands and matures, information overload becomes a problem. Astute traders are increasingly seeking crypto-specific tools that can distill the noisy input data into quality insights. Predicoin is one such potential solution.

Also read: Meet the New Sentiment Analysis Tools Empowering Smarter Trading

Predicoin Goes Live With “Sentscore” Functionality

Sentiment Analysis Service Predicoin Launches for Cryptocurrency TradersIn August, news.Bitcoin.com previewed Predicoin, which was then in early stage development. The data analytics platform, which is now open to the public, aggregates news and social media content before extracting the sentiment using machine learning. In addition to serving up crypto news and social media content, Predicoin provides its own built-in analytics in the form of “Sentscore” (sentiment score). This functions as a general sentiment indicator for the cryptomarket, powered by algorithms that compute sentiment from five verticals:

  • Amount of content and article context from crypto news sites
  • Social media sentiment (currently Twitter and Reddit) and volume from crypto influencers
  • Macro and micro economics/fundamentals of a coin (team, developers etc.)
  • Technical indicators on a coin’s price
  • Popularity and trending characteristics of a coin

Predicoin plans to use its datasets and analytics framework to derive trends between sentiment and price. “We’re still tuning our algorithms and regularly backpropagating updates to prior data,” explained Pierre-Alexandre Picard, Predicoin COO. “These metrics could change, but we’re very excited to start seeing some potential correlations on our charts. We continue to work hard on identifying patterns to provide the most accurate indicators to our users.”

Sentiment Analysis Service Predicoin Launches for Cryptocurrency Traders
BCH social sentiment leading up to the hard fork

Gauging Social Sentiment

Although Predicoin is still in beta, testing shows the platform to be quite efficient in some cases at accurately conveying social trends. For instance, at the height of the recent Bitcoin Cash fork, Predicoin detected a significant upward shift in volume of news and social media that mentioned BCH. While this finding isn’t surprising, seeing the data overlaid with that of BCH price action suggests the degree to which sentiment can be used to predict price.

This is best seen in the case of Ripple’s eponymous cryptocurrency. XRP’s price run-up in September, which was linked to the announcement of U.S.-based PNC Bank partnering with Ripple to conduct instantaneous cross-border payments. Predicoin identified the positive news published on XRP and shared multiple times across social media, taking its native Sentscore to an all-time high for ripple. The price followed within the next 12-24 hours, boosting XRP to over $ 0.60.

Sentiment Analysis Service Predicoin Launches for Cryptocurrency Traders

BTC’s social chart is also interesting to explore, showing sentiment falling with the bitcoin crash that occurred on Nov. 15:

Sentiment Analysis Service Predicoin Launches for Cryptocurrency Traders

The platform detected a strong downturn in the sentiment of social media the moment BTC lost around $ 100. To further improve its algorithmic predictions, Predicoin runs statistical tests on the data it amasses to develop metrics that connect price and social information. The goal is to ultimately develop a tool that traders and investors can rely on for asset research.

Predicoin’s data analytics service currently extends to 30 cryptocurrencies, enabling enthusiasts to log in and discover social patterns, check daily, weekly, and monthly scores, and access the content from which these scores are formulated. Generating profit in a bear market isn’t easy, even when armed with tools and algorithms aplenty. Given the fallibility of technical analysis, however, alternative indicators are to be welcomed, be it to bolster existing trading ideas or to give rise to new ones.

Do you think sentiment analysis can be a valuable trading indicator? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Predicoin.


Disclaimer: Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support this product/service.

Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the mentioned company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

The post Sentiment Analysis Service Predicoin Launches for Cryptocurrency Traders appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News